Arkansas veteran reflects on 9/11, responding to Pentagon after attack

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — On September 11 2001, thousands of people went to work at the pentagon and watched as those planes hit the twin towers.

At 9:37 that morning a third plane hit the pentagon, 184 people -Nehamon Lyons of Pine Bluff one of them would be killed in that attack.

In the days that followed Major Keith Dover now retired, lead a unit from Arkansas to the crash site, as military witnesses to the response, collecting information and facts.

Major Dover gave some insight to a mission like few others, that mission 20 years as fresh in his mind as yesterday.

As retired Major Keith Dover entered the hall at the state capitol, which will house his memorabilia and recorded moments at the Pentagon following 9/11 the emotion hits him before he enters.

“My unit, was the very first unit, guard, reserve active duty, etc. that mobilized in response to the attacks of 911,” Dover said.

His unit’s motto ‘Ride to the sound of Guns’.

“It’s hard for me to describe the things that I saw I photographed..and the sights and even the smells through our respirators we had to wear because there was still jet fuel lingering where we walked,” Dover said.

The memories flooded his senses of what he saw as he recorded the facts for history.

Facts of what happened separated theory when one of his men radioed, he needed Dover to see something.    

“He found the landing gear to the plane that hit the building,” Dover said.

But for Dover, an officer and man with a long distinguished military career, saw the human element among the rubble, that we were at war.  

“To see those beautiful photographs of those children, Mothers, Fathers, Sons or Daughters displayed in a cubicle,” Dover said, “At the same time see the stains on the fabric bordering offices, cubicles, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure what these things were that we were seeing.”

On Saturday there will be an observance ceremony at 8:30 at the state capitol.

After Dover will be unveiling some one-of-a-kind artifacts from the pentagon crash scene.

It’s all open to the public for a way to honor those who died that day.

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